I don't love dogs. I have no problem with people who feel the need to have them, so long as they act responsibly. I take my son up the Liverpool Loop Line cycleway often, sharing it with many people who cannot, or will not, control their dogs. My son, who rides slowly and courteously on shared paths, has been reduced to crying with terror twice as a result of encounters with dogs. I view large dogs as dangerous weapons. They are capable of killing or maiming my young lad or myself. Failure to be in control of something, in a public space, that has that capacity to cause injury or death should be punished as if that person had discharged a firearm imo. The vast majority of dog owners are decent people who love their pets and act responsibly, unfortunately the minority of morons with dogs cause the problems. Do I think the OP was wrong to kick a large dog trying to take a chunk out of him? No! In all honesty I would have been reaching for my D lock. Given the damage these animals can inflict, you have every right to protect yourself.